Government parental leave scheme begins 1.1.2011.
Friday October 1 2010 is the first day expectant parents may make an application to the Family Assistance Office for the new Paid Parental Leave Scheme.
Key Features of the Paid parental Leave Act 2010
1. The Act is stand alone legislation, administered by the Family Assistance Office (FAO) with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) performing a dispute resolution role.
2. The Paid Parental Leave Act 2010 must be read in conjunction with the National Employment Standards parental leave provisions and any applicable industrial instrument.
3. The Act provides parents of babies born on, or after 1 January 2011, a government funded paid parental leave scheme of 18 weeks payment at the Federal Minimum Wage ($569.90 a week) which is taxable income.
4. The PPL payment is a flat rate of 18 weeks payment at the Federal Minimum Wage, regardless of whether an employee would ordinarily earn more or less. Part-time employees will receive the flat rate.
This entitlement is available to the non-birth parent if they are to become the primary care giver to the child. More information can be found at http://is.gd/fFYWA
This does not infringe on any Parental leave that is negotiated in enterprise agreements.
Chris Ward a wharfie from Patrick Port Botany opted to stay at home and look after his two beautiful daughters when his wife went back to work. He was entitled to the 12 weeks at full pay that is in the current agreement.
Chris rang me not long after the birth of the girls, he said, I just wanted to thank you for making sure we had paternity entitlements in our agreement to allow me to stay at home with my girls. That was a great moment that proved once again why we do what we do.
Chris visited us in National Office recently to introduce Madeleine and Brianna to the officials and staff. He is really enjoying spending time with the girls and made looking after twins look easy
This is a prime example of Rights for women being rights for all.
In 2011 the primary care giver can take the leave negotiated by the union and the government entitlement to extend the time they can bond and care for their children which is crucial in the early days of life.
This is monumental and shows that we finally have a government that cares for working families.
The scheme isn't perfect but after being one of only a very few countries to not have a government scheme for so long it is a big improvement and will hopefully make life a little easier for new parents.